Mexico Real Estate Buyers Guide
Located only a few hours and a spectacular highway drive from Guadalajara – the second largest city in México – Puerto Vallarta has been the second home market for wealthy and established families from Guadalajara since the early 50´s.
Nestled between the foothills of the majestic Sierra Madre Occidental, and the calm waters of Bahía de Banderas, the city of Puerto Vallarta, founded 104 years ago, is one of the most important touristic destinies in Mexico, however, it’s the only one that has preserved its “typical town” status, as its architecture has remained intact since the mid-19th century. Its narrow, cobblestoned streets flanked by impeccable, white walls and red tiled roofs are a delight for anyone who wanders through the downtown area. Strolling along its recently remodeled Malecón under perfect weather is like visiting an open-air museum, since rare and beautiful sculptures of plastic artists from around the world enhance its beauty. Oh! And it’s also beachfront… Who wouldn’t want to live in such a place? Now, if you would rather live in a more cosmopolitan environment, with an amazing gastronomic and artistic offer, an exciting nightlife and a much more exclusive lifestyle, Vallarta is the place to be!
In fact, residential and commercial development in Bahía de Banderas has reached record figures in the last ten years, turning into the national beach destination with the most & best rated high-end developments in Latin America. So, it doesn’t matter if you dream of having a simple, small town life, or a secluded and sophisticated one… A safe, family lifestyle, one full of adventures, or a more relaxed, beach life… Vallarta definitely has it all!
What do I need to buy a property in México?
First, you have to have all the information regarding the area where you intend to buy a property. After you make the decision to buy and you are ready to transfer the money, it is just a matter of time. It is very important to know that the whole buying process may take around 2 months, from the day you make an offer, to the closing date.
At the beginning, you will need to have 10% of the selling price available to make a down payment and put it into an Escrow account, as well as 50% of the Notary’s fee.
Other than that, you just need to program yourself to be able to deposit the other 90% of the money, plus the Notary’s remaining half on the closing date.
Do I need to work with a Real Estate Agent?
Actually, it all depends… If you want to handle everything on your own, you may certainly do it. But if you want to count on someone who knows the market, as well as the area, someone that can guide you through the purchase process and make it all easier while you enjoy your future hometown, the answer is yes. You really need to work with a professional Real Estate Agent.
Benefits of working with a Real Estate Agent.
- A professional Real Estate Agent knows the business.
- She or he has full access to the inventory available that is already approved and gone through the due diligence process, which significantly reduces the risk of investing in properties with debt, family disputes, mortgages or any other legal situations that, at the end, could hinder or even frustrate the selling-buying process.
- Hiring an Real Estate agent has no cost to the buyer since the seller is the one who pays for commissions.
- There is no extra charge for an attorney in the closing process, as your experienced agents will lead you through all the hoops and loops from the moment you decide to make an offer, through the final closing stage.
What exactly is a Fidecomiso?
The titles of the properties purchased by foreigners are held in a Mexican bank trust called Fideicomiso. The buyer is the beneficiary of the trust. The Mexican bank – of the buyer’s choice – acts like the trustee. The fideicomiso gives the beneficiary absolut control over the property. You can enjoy it. lease it, improve it, mortgage it, sell it, inherit it, or give it away. The initial term of the trust is 50 years, however the trust can be renewed for additional periods of 50 years indefinitely. So basically, the buyer has all the rights of a free, simple ownership, just as in the States, in Canada, or in Europe. Much like living wills or estate trusts in the U.S., with a Fideicomiso the Mexican bank, or Trustee, takes instruction only from the Beneficiary of the trust (the Purchaser).
This is not to be confused with a land lease. The property purchased is placed in a trust with the Purchaser named as the Beneficiary of the trust — the Purchaser is not a lessee. If the property purchased is already held in a trust, the Purchaser has the option of assuming that trust, or having the property vested in a new trust.
Now, when talking investment wise, property prices in PV are – believe it or not – one third lower than prices within the U.S., while rental prices are almost the same. Nevertheless, the short term rental market has allowed investors to achieve up to 85% occupancy of their vacant properties. This means that, as an investor, you can enjoy your property while in PV, and make really good money with it while you are away, taking care of your garden back home… Sounds interesting, right? In fact, you can realistically expect to generate around 10-12% ROI on your investment every year.